Saturday, December 26, 2009

the secret mind of Bob Kaufman

In the photo: Mario Ellis Hill performs Bob Kaufman's Does the Secret Mind Whisper? A series of YouTube videos capture various poets honoring Kaufman's legend.

Does the Secret Mind Whisper? was published as a broadside by City Lights in 1959 and then again in pamphlet form in 1960. Copies of it are fairly difficult to find today. Are there plans for it to be republished? I certainly hope so.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tosh Berman

Wallace Berman took this photograph of his son Tosh in 1960. Silver gelatin print; taken in 1960, printed in 2006. h: 20 x w: 16 in. In an interview with Tosh:
3:AM: It would be remiss of me not to mention your father, Wallace Berman. He’s being undergoing a bit of a revival in recent years - there have been some retrospectives of his work, but also Stewart Home has cribbed the ethos of Semina for his imprint. How much of an influence is Semina on your work, if at all?

TB: My Dad is a major influence on me. He taught me to go against the grain and listen to that inner voice. I am surrounded by two geniuses in my life: my dad and my wife. Both are creatures of the creative, and I feel like I am in their shadow – but what a great place to be in. They both taught me to go by instinct. And instinct is the core of the creative act.

Semina is sort of the self-made ‘zine of its time. He just did it without thinking out the commercial aspect. So in one sense it was a pure piece of work. Very personal and therefore beautiful. I think of TamTam in that manner. I just want to show the public what turns me on. So in a sense, it’s a sharing feeling. I don’t care about the masses, I just want people who are interested in what I am doing. Ten people into Boris Vian is good enough for me.
[LINK to the above.]

See an earlier entry titled "Trippy sardonic West Coast surrealism."